West End Out? Borough Council Votes to Shop for EMS Provider

Dissatisfied with the West End Fire Co.'s performance, the borough will seek bids.

With the West End Fire Company floundering, the Phoenixville Borough Council voted unanimously at its October 9 meeting to shop for a new EMS provider, The Times Herald is reporting.

According to the paper, councilman David Gautreau said the borough has grown displeased with the fire company’s EMS performance, citing a Labor Day incident and the fact that Spring City has already abandoned West End in favor of another provider.

He added that West End promised their truck to the Phoenixville Fire Department, but did not honor the deal.

Ron Sigismonti Jr., West End’s new ambulance coordinator, was present at the meeting. He acknowledged the service issues that have plagued the company, but said they can be rectified.

“I realize it’s not a good situation, I’m not arguing with that,” Sigismonti reportedly said. “I think I can come in and if I’m allowed to try and right the wrongs, [I think I can] work with everybody.”

The West End Professional Fire Fighters Association, in a letter it released to press before the meeting, said replacing the company might be good PR, but wouldn’t improve emergency services in the borough.

“Such a change in the EMS Unit would have no effect on the improvement of other services except the perception that something defective has been excised,” president Perry D. Kurtz wrote.

Gautreau said the bids could be voted on as soon as January and West End could well win back the contract. He conceded though that if a vote were held at the October meeting, his position on West End would be a firm "no."

LocalGirl October 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Agreed, P-ville Resident Forever, and Past Volunteer. I, too, have served this boro for years. I have volunteered, gotten certified, and made a difference. So I will not "shut up" either. Apparently "U Have No Idea" is missing some information as well. Here's some food for thought. If I'm not mistaken, the Boro's Fire Department Ordinance is posted on-line. West End Fire and EMS is still listed as part of the Phoenixville Fire Department, and has been the entire time of the Gable/Buckwalter/Gautreau era. In fact, for several years before the "consolidation," John Buckwalter was the chief from West End. Post- "consolidation," Chief Gable made it clear he was handling firefighting, so apparently EMS was handed over to Deputy Chief Buckwalter. So if West End has become such a problem over the past few years; is so lacking in professionialism; and is giving sub-par service (and honestly, due to lack of internal management, I do not disagree with some points about that)-- then either Mr. Buckwalter was not doing his job, per the Boro Ordinance, or he was not competent to do his job. Ironically, at the same meeting where Council questions West End's service record, they approve Buckwalter as the incoming Fire Chief! Fantastic! And oh, btw, don't be concerned about Chief Buckwalter showing up for his introduction in tee-shirt and jeans. He manages building fires in tee-shirt and shorts. Just sayin'.....
U Have No Idea October 22, 2012 at 02:07 PM
As usual a cetain LOUD mouth no it all female who has been a the route of some problems in this borough has to open her mouth and take personal jabs at people. My only jab is that if youthink they are so wrong at what they are trying to do or accomplish. Then step up, man up (or woman up) and become a member of the dept. and try to make it better. The Fire Dept, council and fire dept officers have done an amazing job with the hand they have been delt with all the problems faced. I applaud all of them and hope that with the new year close by we all look forward to a Great Beginning under Chief Buckwalter and say Thanks to Chief Gable. Im sure some of you will have more negative comments...So say them..But remember, one day you might need there help, and they are doing what they can. Look, They are volunteers. You could pay more $$$ and have an entire paid Fire EMS system that would have even less people and then who knows waht could happen cause your all to worried about bashing instead of helping...so, you too can make a difference and join in the quest to make it a better place to live, work and even volunteer....God Bless
P-ville resident forever October 22, 2012 at 02:11 PM
The new ALS coordinator hasn't been there during the past months or years. He JUST STARTED and the borough isn't giving him a chance. You made your obvious career choice, now you're complaining about it and asking others to do what you do. I'm as confused as you are. You should educate yourself on the history of volunteerism, bars/ social halls/ firehouses/ charter organizations and know how your career was established, who was running the calls (those bartenders) and where it's going. Obviously you're not happy doing what you do. So while you're giving career advise, you should find one that YOU'RE happy with.
LocalGirl October 22, 2012 at 02:22 PM
U Have No Idea-- Considering that I am a member, and have been tossed out of meetings when I have tried to help find solutions (you want a loud mouth, listen to the yelling of the MEN in the room who threw me out. 2 of the 3 were smart enough to realize they were out of line and apoligized later. The 3rd is our incoming Chief. Very professional.) As a side note, I volunteer in multiple other areas of the community besides EMS. What did you say you do? As for personal jabs, I have taken none, only spoken the truth. But funny how someone took to facebook and took personal jabs at me...and when I pointed how inappropriate that was for an elected public official, the posts mysteriously disappeared. As did a previous negative comment on this site. How handy. By the way, "spell check" might come in handy when you are typing. Just saying.
Goddess October 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM


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